Child custody cases are often complicated. When a parent takes a child out of the country against the wishes of the other parent and the court, though, it can be the beginning of a nightmare for the parent who is left behind. There are several countries that honor the Hague Convention, which requires that a child be returned to his or her country if there is a standing court order.
The United States Supreme Court, though, has just made it even more difficult for a parent to get a child back to the U.S. The ruling, which was unanimous and issued on March 5, says that the parent in the U.S. has one year from the time a child is taken out of the country to act. This means that the parent -- who may not have any idea where the child is living -- has a year to have the child returned to the U.S. According to the Hague Convention, a judge really doesn't have much of a choice but to send a child taken illegally into another country back to his or her home country.